Matsuyama, which will host the Labour and Employment Ministers' Meeting on Sept. 1 and 2, is the biggest city on the island of Shikoku. The capital of Ehime Prefecture is known for the famous Dogo Onsen, which is regarded as Japan's oldest hot spring with a history dating back around 3,000 years, drawing about six millions of travelers each year.

The picturesque, wooden three-story Dogo Onsen Honkan (main building) was built in 1894 and became the first public bathhouse in Japan to be designated as an Important Cultural Property in 1994. Celebrated writer Natsume Soseki frequented the bathhouse after he was assigned a teaching post at a local junior high school; in honor of the writer, it has preserved a third-floor room where the great literary figure used to relax after baths that is open to the public.

Today, the main building has two bathing areas where visitors can soak in natural simple alkaline hot spring water known for its skin benefits. The hot spring water used in the bathhouse comes directly from the spring, with no heating or additional water used in order to preserve its quality. At present, the building is being renovated, but visitors can still enjoy bathing in the Kami-no-Yu bath on the first floor.